A Simple Question about SACDs

BIS, as an example, produces much of its catalog available in “SACD quality.” Does the “SACD-ness” disappear if one converts them to flacs for my Room library? Or must one use the physical CD with a SACD player?

Told it you was simple…

If you ripped them to FLAC using a CD/DVD drive then you’ve ripped the CD layer of the disc. Here is a link to how to rip SACD to DSD files.

2 Likes

Here’s another way to do it. I’ve ripped over 125 SACD’s using this method.

4 Likes

How did you rip them and how did you convert them?

I use Aul ConverteR 48X44 PROduce-RD v 9.5

It looks like you ripped the CD layer of the disc, in which case the “SACD-ness” never disappeared :slight_smile: because it wasn’t there to begin with.

In order to preserve the original SACD information you need to rip the SACD layer, using for example one of the aforementioned methods.

2 Likes

If you ripped the disc with this program, you ripped the CD layer and not the SACD/DSD layer. OTOH, if you ripped the disc with sacd_extract (and descendents) and subsequently converted the resulting ISO to FLAC with Aul ConverteR, it is possible that you might have ripped the DSD content. By itself, Aul ConverteR will not rip DSD, afaik.

1 Like

If a SACD layer is ripped correctly the output file should be DTS, not FLAC.

I think you are thinking of DSD.

1 Like

When it comes to BSI created content, you need to be aware that they always record to PCM and then covert to DSD if needed. As per their website.

1 Like

I end up with DSF files when I’m done.

4 Likes

Here is the page from the BIS website about their SACD process.

Take always:

  1. There are 3 layers on an SACD. A 16/44.1 CD layer, a DSD stereo “hi-res” layer, and a 5 channel layer.

  2. The DSD layer is converted from hi-res PCM masters, which BIS say are better quality than DSD masters.

As you now can buy copies of the original hi-res PCM masters from eClassical.com you might ask whether it is worthwhile buying a special piece of hardware to rip the DSD layer. I would say save time and aggravation and spend your money on downloads of the hi-res PCM masters which in BIS’ own view are better than the DSD conversions.

No way. DSD files from an SACD should be in either DSF or DFF format. If you want/need to convert them to a PCM format, FLAC (or WAV) would be lossless formats of choice. Baseline DTS is a lossy compressed PCM and unsuitable.

3 Likes

Correction: There are 3 layers on an SACD. A 16/44.1 CD layer, a DSD stereo “hi-res” layer, and a DSD 5 (or 6) channel “hi-res” layer.

That conversion is acknowledged but whether the PCM masters are of better quality than DSD masters is debatable.

Agreed.

1 Like

Did you mean DST? That is the lossless data compression format used on some SACDs.

AJ

1 Like

Since DSD is converted from PCM, how can it be of better quality?

Thanks, I was actually thinking of DSF. That’ll teach me to post minutes after waking up!:joy:

1 Like

The o/p was asking specifically about BIS SACDs. If you read the link in my earlier post you would see that BIS themselves say:

“ Although SACDs contain DSD format audio, BIS does not use DSD for the actual recording process. We have done initial DSD recordings, followed by listening comparisons, but found high-resolution PCM perfectly capable of delivering “super audio”. The recording format of each BIS release is stated in the corresponding booklet - our current standard being 96 kHz and 24 bits -, and shown as “Original sample rate” Although SACDs contain DSD format audio, BIS does not use DSD for the actual recording process. We have done initial DSD recordings, followed by listening comparisons, but found high-resolution PCM perfectly capable of delivering “super audio”. … We usually work in the recording sample rate until the master stage and convert the final PCM high-resolution masters to DSD for SACD production.”

So BIS themselves believe that high res PCM has advantages over DSD and therefore record in high res PCM. My point was that since BIS record in high res PCM in the first place and those masters are now available through eclassical why bother trying to extract the DSD layer from old SACDs. It cant be as good better as the original master.

1 Like

Agreed, in part. But are the BIS high res multichannel PCM tracks available for purchase and download? If not, many rip SACDs solely for access to the MCH area of the discs. Even if that DSD is from running PCM through an SDM. Because that is the only commercially available outlet for multichannel. Downloads lag in that regard.

AJ

1 Like

Fun fact: “The Best of The Doors” SACD’s multi-channel layer is described as 4.0 (which I take means quad). However, all tracks contain 5 channels, with the 3rd (i.e. center) completely silent. I guess “.0” is appropriate… I don’t know why it was done this way, and I guess it doesn’t matter how much space it takes on the disc, but if you rip to DSF or uncompressed DFF, it will take 25% more disk space for no reason.